I really enjoy candles. For me, candlelight is soothing and calming. My favorite way to enjoy candlelight is to just light a bunch of tealights set out in various places. I’m not a big fan of scented candles. I can burn them for short periods of time but after awhile, the fragrance starts to mess with my sense of smell.
I’m better at remembering to light candles during the “Standard Time” season, when it gets darker earlier and stays dark longer. And usually by summertime, I all but forget to light candles on a regular basis. Part of that has to do with extended daylight and the other part is the subconscious association of flame with heat. Summer is hot, why would I want flames of heat, no matter how small, in my home?
Each September when Vespers starts back, I get a gentle nudge that I’m overdue for some candlelight. We use lots of candles during Vespers. It gives the service a holy, reverent atmosphere. Lighting them lets everyone know that it’s time for the service. Extinguishing them brings the evening to a close.
In her book, Mudhouse Sabbath, Lauren Winner says this about candlelight:
Even though – or perhaps because – literal illumination is as easy as, well, the flip of a switch, there’s something remarkable about a candle, and no quieter quiet than the silence of candlelight. Candles are peaceful, and transfixing, and also ancient.
Do have candlelight in your life? What does it mean to you? Is special occasion only or a daily ritual?